With blessings come responsibilities. With great blessings come greater responsibilities. Blessings will come as we choose God’s best over “better” and “good.” God doesn’t bless mediocrity or indifference. He expects praise for His blessings. He anticipates heart worship when He pours out blessings of grace on His people.
Blessings demand something of us. Blessings are also warnings. What you do with a blessing may determine what God can trust you with in the future. If we don’t handle the grace blessings of God in a proper way, with fear and trembling, we will not be able to complain if and when those blessings are withdrawn or withheld.
In our pragmatic, reasoning mind, it is easy for us to run ahead of God or presume on His grace. Acts 27:13 says, “A moderate south wind came up, supposing that they had attained their purpose, they weighted anchor and began sailing.” More than one Christian, church, and denomination has found itself shipwrecked because of presuming on the grace of God.
Paul warned the Corinthians of this. If it could happen to Israel, God’s covenant people, it can happen to us. If they could blow it, we can blow it. There are several things we must avoid.
1) We must never assume that blessings are a sign of God’s approval of our behavior. God blessed Israel at times, solely because of covenant, not because of their faithfulness and obedience.
2) We should never presume on the grace of God. God doesn’t need us. Any old stump will do. If he can use a donkey, or a crooked staff for Moses, he can always find someone who will give Him the obedience and glory He deserves.
3) Every blessing should be viewed with eternity in mind. This simply means that all God does, is doing, and will do is to be viewed as an opportunity to praise and honor the Lord God Almighty. It is never so we can pat ourselves on the back or consider ourselves more highly favored than others.
4) Blessings are never intended to make us callous or lazy. We are to die daily, take up our cross daily, and keep our hands on the plow. The work is NEVER done. Today’s success doesn’t guarantee success tomorrow.
– Samson always defeated the enemy until…
– David walked in victory until…
– Israel defeated her enemies until…
– Churches used to be great until…
One of the ways the enemy will work to destroy believers and churches is to get us to assume that we “deserve” the attention and blessings of God, that somehow we’ve earned an elite status. That is damnable and will destroy any believer or group of believers. Even when God is pouring out blessings, there is still much work to be done.
In our tri-county region, 88% are unchurched. That means we cannot let up. We need volunteers, workers, servants, prayer warriors, and fully armored soldiers of the cross. There is much land to possess. We still have work to do, buildings to build, churches to plant, and missions opportunities within our city limits and around the world.
We’ve been blessed to be a blessing, not to wallow in our blessings. This is no time for hot-tub, feel-good, let’s-give-ourselves-a-big-pat-on-the-back religion. Remember, God is opposed to the proud, but He gives grace to the humble.
Hear me well—every believer and every church is one un-prayed-over decision away from failure. The littlest thing can disrupt unity and destroy blessings. If for one moment we think we can coast and let our guard down, we are doomed to become ineffective and another plateaued and dying church.
How we handle this going forward will determine if our future is bright or bleak. God is watching, listening, and observing. He is evaluating our motives. He is searching our hearts. He is judging how we use the resources we’ve been given.
David’s prayer is one for generations. It was the prayer of a man who wanted to impact lives for generations to come. “Then David the king went in and sat before the Lord, and he said, ‘Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my house, that You have brought me this far?’” (2 Samuel 7:18)